A Bestiary

A Bestiary Review

* Winner of the 2015 Essay Collection Competition, Selected by Wayne Koestenbaum *

“Rarely have I come across tenderness, venom, and fire held so intimately, so exquisitely, as in Lily Hoang’s A Bestiary. This book would be impressive enough as a collection of finely-forged fragments, but as it weaves itself into an even more impressive whole, my hat came off. Lily Hoang writes like she has nothing to lose and everything at stake.” —Maggie Nelson

“A Bestiary is a work of great subtlety, precision, intelligence, daring, and emotive keenness. It seems completely contemporary (by which I mean that it is unlike anything I’ve read and that it makes me want to change my own writerly procedures). With head¬long, reckless, improvisatory gestures, Lily Hoang prompts us to rethink what literature today can dare to aspire to. Her intellectually magnanimous book’s position on the threshold between recognizable ‘literature’ and some other vanguard form of performance/utterance made me feel happy and stimulated and dizzy (in a rapturous way) while I was reading it.” —Wayne Koestenbaum

“The most perfect use of fragmentation, myth, language, fairytale, and terrible beauty that I have ever seen in my life. I’m swooning. My faith in what writing can be has been restored.” —Lidia Yuknavitch

Lily Hoang is the author of four books, including Changing, recipient of a PEN Open Books Award. She has two novels forthcoming: Old Cat Lady and The Book of Martha and she co-edited the anthology The Force of What’s Possible: Writers on Accessibility and the Avant-Garde. She teaches in the MFA program at New Mexico State University, where she is Associate Department Head. She serves as Prose Editor at Puerto del Sol and Non-Fiction Editor at Drunken Boat.

Title:A Bestiary
Edition Language:English

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Thomas

    People expect Asian women to submit, to be passive and lifeless and pretty. Lily Hoang skewers that stereotype in her bold essay collection A Bestiary. With fierce prose, she writes about her dead sis...

  • Roxane

    Well, this is a magnificent book. Personal essays about grief and love and broken people and difficult relationships that are raw and vulnerable but full of steel and intelligence. There is an ongoing...

  • Jen Campbell

    Perfect for fans of Maggie Nelson. :)...

  • Kevin

    Lily Hoang tackles death, lust, disappointment, pain, parents, fairy tales, and so much more in this virtuoso performance. Her prose moves freely and without fear through these various section and top...

  • Pat Pujolas

    And then a book like this comes along, shattering your expectations, and restoring your faith in contemporary writing. In a single word, perfect. ...

  • Isa

    Unspeakably tender, honest, raw. If you've ever loved a person with an addiction, you know this story -- if you've ever been abused, you know this story -- and yet Hoang tells it in a way that will cr...

  • D.A.

    "This essay already feels too honest, but I'll publish it anyway. I am not worth a nickel of shame." Extraordinarily brilliant both in the literary sense and in the personal sense of what "personal es...

  • M.

    Gobbled this up on the plane ride home from AWP. Lily! So good....

  • Elizabeth

    can i give this book ten stars instead? can i give it ALL THE STARS? ...

  • Allison

    These essays fragment, loop, transform and eat their own tails (but in a good way, if that is possible). I loved their connections. Fairy Tales, grief, loss, love, addiction....